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Thread: Advice on fishing the east side of the Denali Hwy

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    Member shimano 33's Avatar
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    Default Advice on fishing the east side of the Denali Hwy



    I drew the attached tag and plan on bringing my father up for the hunt (a little hunt/fish combo!). He is really looking forward to the adventure and catching some fish. The problem is that most of my fishing in AK has been for Salmon down south and I have no experience fishing any of these northern lakes/streams.

    As the title suggest, we plan on doing most of our camping around the East side of the Denali Hwy and tips around this area would be extremely appreciated. The map can also give you a general idea of the area.

    A few direct questions I have:

    -I believe we will be in trout country, but what species are more common in this location?
    -What kind of rod/reel combo would be best? Small Spinning reels and light/medium action rods? I don't currently own any fly rods..
    -What pound test?
    -lures? Spinners? Flies? Topwater?
    -Waders?

    I apologies for being a major rookie, but I am Active Duty Mil and grew up catching largemouth in FL lol.

    Thanks in advance for the tips your willing to share!

    Mark


    Edit: I should also add that any links to old threads that may be helpful are also encouraged.
    Last edited by Brian M; 03-19-2015 at 23:05.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shimano 33 View Post


    I drew the attached tag and plan on bringing my dad up for the hunt (a little hunt/fish combo!). He is really looking forward to the adventure and catching some fish. The problem is that most of my fishing in AK has been for Salmon down south and I have no experience fishing any of these northern lakes/streams.

    As the title suggest, we plan on doing most of our camping around the West side of the Denali Hwy and tips around this area would be extremely appreciated. The map can also give you a general idea of the area.

    A few direct questions I have:

    -I believe we will be in trout country, but what species are more common in this location?
    -What kind of rod/reel combo would be best? Small Spinning reels and light/medium action rods? I don't currently own any fly rods..
    -What pound test?
    -lures? Spinners? Flies? Topwater?
    -Waders?

    I apologies for being a major rookie, but I am Active Duty Mil and grew up catching largemouth in FL lol.

    Thanks in advance for the tips your willing to share!


    Mark
    In that area you will have good grayling fishing in both the tangle lakes and the Gulkana river. Lake trout can be found in the Tangle lakes and Paxson Lake but they can be hard to find sometimes in the August and September. Fish deep from a boat if you have one. Rainbows can be caught in the Gulkana river. For Grayling use mostly dry flies and nymph patterns if you are fly fishing. Use Mepps and Panther Martin spinners if using spin tackle. For lakers I use mostly spoons and Rapalas that dive deep. If you are fly fishing try using streamers. I've caught lakers in the spring out of Paxson lake using streamers. Never caught them in the fall using flies but streamers would be my first choice. For rainbows I would use Dolly Lamas, flesh flies, beads, and ESLs. If using spinning tackle try Mepps and Blue Fox Vibrax spinners. Good luck.

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    Member shimano 33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
    In that area you will have good grayling fishing in both the tangle lakes and the Gulkana river. Lake trout can be found in the Tangle lakes and Paxson Lake but they can be hard to find sometimes in the August and September. Fish deep from a boat if you have one. Rainbows can be caught in the Gulkana river. For Grayling use mostly dry flies and nymph patterns if you are fly fishing. Use Mepps and Panther Martin spinners if using spin tackle. For lakers I use mostly spoons and Rapalas that dive deep. If you are fly fishing try using streamers. I've caught lakers in the spring out of Paxson lake using streamers. Never caught them in the fall using flies but streamers would be my first choice. For rainbows I would use Dolly Lamas, flesh flies, beads, and ESLs. If using spinning tackle try Mepps and Blue Fox Vibrax spinners. Good luck.

    Thanks Jack!

    Exactly the kind of info I'm after. Your post also brings up a few things I left out:

    -The trip will more than likely take place during the last week of August.
    -Unfortunately, we will not have a boat with us..

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    There is great grayling fishing in all the streams in and around tangle lakes.
    You don't need a boat to find great fishing. Jack gave you all the right info. When it gets closer you can call the Tangle River Inn for up to date info.

    The best flies that have worked for me for grayling are mosquitos, ants, and griffiths gnats.






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    Sounds like your dad might be a nonresident. Check with a trooper on the legality of his being with you while you're caribou hunting. When I checked a couple of years ago on having a nonres friend along (as a non-hunter), the trooper told me that the Nelchina caribou herd was managed STRICTKLY for state residents and having a nonres along would be a no-no.

    In addition to Tangle Lakes, most roadside streams hold grayling. Hike away from the road to find uneducated fish. Without access to a boat (on the lakes) concentrate on the river (about 1/2 mile long) that runs under the road and connects the 2 road accessible lakes, particularly the inlet & outlet. Its a beautiful area, enjoy your time there.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary View Post
    Sounds like your dad might be a nonresident. Check with a trooper on the legality of his being with you while you're caribou hunting. When I checked a couple of years ago on having a nonres friend along (as a non-hunter), the trooper told me that the Nelchina caribou herd was managed STRICTKLY for state residents and having a nonres along would be a no-no.
    If that's what the Tropper told you, he was incorrect. There is no prohibition on non-residents being with you in the field, they just can't be the hunter. They can, however, fish, hunt ptarmigan, and otherwise enjoy the experience.

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    do get a non res fishing lic. an small game non res hunting lic an Dad can carry a big gun with him in the field just can't hunt big game , an he can use large guns to hunt Birds if you want, , an small boat will help fishing the lakes , an all streams should have Grayling in them,
    most streams going in or from lakes fish will be there . a few years back I was there fishing [ out let of Paxton Lake] , an as long as I did not
    have red on the fly I caught fish, with red the fish ran away , [ did not catch fish] PS Grayling are great fresh but get soft real fast,
    SID

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sid View Post
    PS Grayling are great fresh but get soft real fast,
    That bears repeating. They're great over the campfire that night, but don't freeze any to save for later or to send home with your dad. They don't freeze well at all. When I take my sons grayling fishing, we keep 2-3 per day for dinner, and release the rest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    If that's what the Tropper told you, he was incorrect. There is no prohibition on non-residents being with you in the field, they just can't be the hunter. They can, however, fish, hunt ptarmigan, and otherwise enjoy the experience.
    You may be correct. I'm only repeating what I was told by a brownshirt sergeant at the Meadowlakes Trooper office. Because I thought I might have misunderstood what he was telling me, I asked for clarification and was told that my friend could accompany me on the trip, but could NOT accompany me in the field (while I was hunting).

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    Member shimano 33's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the info guys!

    Looks like we shall be chasing grayling if the caribou are slow, or if I tag out early. I also appreciate bringing up the legality of my dad tagging along. He will have his non res hunting license already (due to him wanting to chase some blackies around in the southern part of the state) and fishing license is a given. I didn't even think about ptarmigan in the area, is there a fairly healthy population off the Denali? He would surely have a blast chasing a few of them around.

    A question that I was going to research (but you all have already settled) is if the grayling were good to eat. Now that I know the answer I will definitely be bringing a few seasonings along. Fresh fish over the fire is a must! Sounds like we are in for a fun trip if weather permits.

    Thanks again!


    Mark

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary View Post
    You may be correct. I'm only repeating what I was told by a brownshirt sergeant at the Meadowlakes Trooper office. Because I thought I might have misunderstood what he was telling me, I asked for clarification and was told that my friend could accompany me on the trip, but could NOT accompany me in the field (while I was hunting).
    Somethin' don't sound right here. If that is indeed true, I'd sure like to hear the reasoning behind it. I "guess" I could see if a non-res is carrying a gun it "might" get iffy, but what harm is a non-res father not carrying a gun gonna do to the caribou herd by walking alongside his son while hunting.....for this hunting area or any for that matter? Shimano, I would definitely call about that as it sounds like a crock to me.....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Somethin' don't sound right here. If that is indeed true, I'd sure like to hear the reasoning behind it. I "guess" I could see if a non-res is carrying a gun it "might" get iffy, but what harm is a non-res father not carrying a gun gonna do to the caribou herd by walking alongside his son while hunting.....for this hunting area or any for that matter? Shimano, I would definitely call about that as it sounds like a crock to me.....
    I'm not sure of his (the trooper's) reasoning. He told me that I shouldn't have a nonres (hunting or not) with me on a hunt for Nelchina caribou. When I asked for clarification, he told me the same thing. I had no interest in getting into a discussion (argument) with him, but took him at his word. I'm not saying that what the trooper told me is gospel, just relating what I was told.

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    Member akiceman25's Avatar
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    This is just west of your area but if you do tag out and want to see some more country make a short jaunt to Valdez Creek Mine rd. You can travel much of the road in your truck. Lots of grayling in the first lake you come to, several miles back. This lake is actually the old mine that is now flooded in.

    This is inside the controlled use area so just keep that in mind.

    Enjoy the time with your Dad!
    I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KM2K7sV-K74

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    The ptarmigan hunting can be great. Run the ridges to find rock ptarmigan, bust the willows to find willow ptarmigan. Watch your heart, though - when you jump a covey at five feet while stalking a caribou, it can give you a heart attack on the spot. Had a stalk ruined by just such a jump a year ago with a friend.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Taken in that body of water I told you about via PM:










    And my nephew's caribou taken just downhill from there, along with my friend's caribou taken just up and over the hill. Needless to say, it can be a pretty sweet area!




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    Member kingman's Avatar
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    Good luck Mark! My wife drew the same tag, so maybe we will see you out there. Ill be the guy hiking with a fly rod eyeing every stream. haha

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    Member shimano 33's Avatar
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    Thanks Kingman and Brian!

    Super excited for the trip- I have already started stocking odds and ends. We will be in a dark brown 2014 Chevy, also equipped with a silver tool box. Be sure to stop and say hey if you see us!

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    Member akiceman25's Avatar
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    Another option for fishing Tangle Lakes... there are canoes available to rent from Tangle Lakes lodge. I think they're $10/hr or $50 day. That'll get you out to some deeper water for some Lakers.

    Just a thought...
    I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KM2K7sV-K74

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